After spending a few days in the mountains taking a BIG time out, filling my cup and relaxing with my family, I am back to the craziness of this current week which was packed with meetings, presentations, and networking events.
All good things but wow, I am feeling it. Being a highly sensitive introvert, I require a lot of recovery time, silence, and stillness. I recently heard something that stopped me in my tracks – if you aren’t exhausted by Friday – you haven’t worked hard enough. While I can relate to this in some capacity, I also know firsthand the importance of taking breaks and how hustling all the time has negative impacts on our mind, body, and spirit.
So what happens when you allow yourself to pause, take a time out and RELAX?
I’m guessing there are varying answers to this question.
Mainly because some of us (yes, my hand is raised), can’t take the break because it’s go – go – go in your day and also in your mind. You may be sitting on your couch or at your desk thinking you are ‘doing nothing’ but your brain is still activated; ruminating, playing out all the scenarios, or perhaps planning out every single detail of the how and what is next.
This mode of overthinking creates anxiety, overwhelm, and exhaustion. It’s a vicious spiral that perpetuates hustle or contrary, paralysis. I share this because it happens to me (as it did last week when I was supposedly taking a time out).
Let’s just go to this place for a moment – what could happen if you gave yourself permission to take a time out and do nothing? I am curious what your mind is offering you in this moment.
Is it resistance?
An excuse? That you don’t have enough time or are too busy (which is further indication that you really NEED the time out).
There is no question that our society supports this way of life. However, it is up to us (if important to you) to take responsibility for our own well-being.
Our habitual behavior is based on repeated thoughts and beliefs that are generated from past experiences and emotions. So, if this sounds familiar to you, i.e., not allowing yourself to truly relax, there’s good news. You can break the cycle and work towards more peaceful moments throughout your day.
So how do you give yourself permission to take a break?
Remember everything you do begins with a thought – or what is happening in your mind. If you are telling yourself, you can’t do it, here’s your first sign and step. Beginning your sentences with I can’t has already blocked you from making it happen. It is really that simple. Tell yourself you can’t, and you won’t.
Repeating to yourself, I will, I can, I want…. will help you take the action needed to do what you need to do – in this case – relax.
Notice the energetic difference between I can’t, and I can?
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and mentally exhausted, I take a step back and notice what is happening in my mind. Am I telling myself I can’t do something – am too busy – do I need to take a 10-minute time out?
After noticing what is happening in your mind – notice your breath. Are you are taking shallow breaths? Tap into your life force energy, your Prana, and take a few deep breaths. Focus on the breath and just BREATHE. If you can’t stop thinking, come back to the breath. You can even count during your breaths – I use 5-5-7 breathing technique.
5 counts for the inhalation, 5 counts holding the breath, 7 counts for the exhalation. Too much? Try 5 & 5, no holding in the middle.
Your time out can be for 5-10 minutes, 1/2 an hour, an entire day, or a week.
Many people look at this as a physical break, however I see it as giving your mind a time out from the mental chatter. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is our rest and digest response (opposite of flight or fight where so much of our time is spent).
The most selfless thing you can do is fill up your own cup. When it’s half empty we look to things, people, and external events to give us what we think we need. Perhaps it’s simply a time out from the busyness of our day. Replenish yourself and fill your own cup. Observe what happens after you do this for you! What you are wanting to create and give will multiply.
If this seems hard for you – I challenge you to start with 5 minute time out per day.
Sit tall, connect your feet to the ground, take a couple deep breaths and tell yourself it’s all good and you can do this. Trust me – it is so good for every part of you (except your monkey mind – it won’t like it at all)!
This is the simple work I do with my coaching and energy healing clients. We tap into the breath, come into the present, and just be for a moment. This is part of the healing journey. If you are looking for guidance and support, book your discovery session today and let me help you take more time outs so you can shine brightly.